COVEN was created by women filmmakers, producers, and entrepreneurs inspired to build a festival that is accessible and welcoming to springboard talent. The founding team includes filmmaker Cameo Wood, actor/producer Connie Jo Sechrist, and Tanji CEO and founder Melinda Fox.
Fresh off two years on the festival circuit with her own award-winning short film, filmmaker Cameo Wood wanted to provide a new opportunity for female filmmakers. Building on the strongest attributes of the many festivals she attended, Cameo wanted this event to show that there is commercially viable, technically impressive, and wonderfully creative work being done by women of all backgrounds.
Wood also wanted to create an accessible space where these filmmakers could come together and share their films and experiences. “It was important to us to remove major barriers of entry from the start,” she says. “Our entry fee was far below industry standard, and we offered a suite of waivers to ensure anyone who wanted to submit their work could. We’ve also priced festival tickets at $25 for audiences giving them access to 25 films, multiple Q&A’s with filmmakers, and a panel featuring industry creatives and our partners.”
The festival founders also wanted to make sure all women creators felt welcome. Says festival co-director Melinda Fox, “This event spotlights women storytellers, and recognizes that not every woman is young, white, middle-class, cisgender, or able-bodied. Our mission is to amplify all women’s stories—emphasizing indigenous, disabled, and women of color—told by women creators.”
COVEN has partnered with organizations with a proven track record supporting women filmmakers in all phases of their careers. Programming partners include Bluestocking Film Series and Etheria Film Night, and fiscal sponsorship from Cinefemme — who have more than 25 years combined experience pushing for inclusion behind the camera and representation across screens.
Adds Wood, “We are looking forward to COVEN becoming a cornerstone of the San Francisco arts calendar. With the cinema’s Dolby 5.1 sound and all films presented in DCP, this is truly a top tier professional event that San Francisco’s film savvy audiences are going to love.”
The festival’s emphasis on connection extends to audiences, who are invited to participate in Q&A’s a panel discussion with industry creatives with the purchase of a Film Lover Access pass ($25). VIP All-Access pass holders can also join filmmakers at a private networking event the evening of Feb 8th, and on the red carpet and Awards Party ($150) the day of the festival.
Tickets are limited and on sale now at covenfilmfest.com.